Government commences Firearms Registry review

The Government is delivering on a commitment made in the National-ACT coalition agreement by commencing a review of the Firearms Registry.

“Cabinet has agreed to the registry review terms of reference and the review is now underway,” Associate Minister of Justice, Hon Nicole McKee says.

“It is important that we take stock of the available data and information so that we can establish whether the Registry is effectively and efficiently improving public safety.

“There is concern that the Registry is not tackling criminal firearms use. At the same time, I hear from licensed firearm owners that the process of registering their firearms is difficult and demanding, and there are very real concerns expressed regarding the privacy of information.”

The Registry was launched on 24 June 2023 by the Firearms Safety Authority to be implemented over a five-year period. It aims to create a digital record of the possession of firearms and other arms items to help stop the diversion of firearms to criminals.

The review will be carried out by the Ministry of Justice and will look at data and information, stakeholder insights, and domestic and overseas experiences with firearms record-keeping, to better understand: 

  • whether the Registry is or will effectively contribute to improving public safety.
  • whether the requirements on firearms users are necessary, appropriate, and streamlined.
  • the costs versus the benefits of the Registry, and
  • what changes, if any, are required. 

The full Terms of Reference for this review is available here.

The review of the Registry is part of a broader Government commitment to firearms reform this Parliamentary term. The findings from the review will inform decisions regarding the future of the registry.

The review will be completed this year and changes to the law as a result of the review can then be considered through the Parliamentary process,” Nicole McKee says.

“In the meantime, I encourage all licensed firearms owners to continue to meet their registry obligations while we work through the review and ensuing recommendations."